Alex Romano

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — During the month of April, the Miracle Park project has partnered with several organizations around Rock Hill, including Winthrop University, to collect plastic bottle caps that will be used to make recycled benches for the all-inclusive park.

The $8 million Miracle Park is being built on 15 acres of land near the Winthrop Coliseum.

Kelly Scott, with the Office of Decision Support at Winthrop, said university officials hope to collect enough bottle caps to build Winthrop its very own bench to donate to the park.

“Those of us here at Winthrop who are connected to Cherry Park and Miracle Park wanted to do our part, so I connected with (Assistant Dean of Students) Miranda (Knight) and said ‘Hey let’s get the word out to Winthrop,’ because I know we have a lot of faculty and staff that would love to contribute,” Scott said.

Knight, who is helping to lead Winthrop’s collection efforts, said she got involved because the all-inclusive park is an important project.

“Kelly and I are both very excited about this project, because we’re connected to Cherry Park through our kids. My daughter Lainey is 9 years old, she has down syndrome (and) because of her, Miracle Park has a special place in my heart, because she has a lot of friends that aren’t as mobile as her,” Knight said.

Winthrop is collecting plastic bottle caps through April 28, after which the caps will be sent out to be repurposed into benches.

While this is the only project that Winthrop is involved with for Miracle Park, at the moment, Knight said there are other ways to support the construction of the park.

“There are all kinds of programs that people can volunteer with and Miracle Park is being built mostly on donations, so if people wanted to donate they can. They have T-shirts and cups and things like that, and all that goes towards Miracle Park,” Knight said.

Those that donate bottle caps are obtaining the bottle caps from recycling bins, their neighbors, and anywhere else that they might find them.

“For me, I drank the bottles that the caps came from. We’re currently renovating our house, so we’ve been drinking a lot of water, so we’ve just saved all the bottle caps from that,” said Callie Smith, a Winthrop employee who recently donated a number of bottle caps for the project.

Construction of the Miracle Park is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.